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25 Best Turkish Desserts

by insanelygood

These popular Turkish desserts are sweet, unique, and so delicious!

From baklava to cookies to Turkish coffee, these easy recipes are a new and exciting end to your meal.

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Turkish Baklava

Turkish desserts are here to entice your palate and satisfy your sweet cravings. The Turks have a fine way of making irresistible sweet dishes!

They fall into three types: milk-based, pastry-based, and those made with fruits or vegetables.

Using unusual ingredients like chicken breast is also expected in this cuisine.

So, beyond the ever-popular baklava, there are so many desserts from Turkey that are worth trying out. If you’re thinking of making them at home, lucky you. 

I have 25 recipes that you can use for Turkish-themed desserts! Trust me, your taste buds deserve these uniquely sweet treats.    

1. Turkish Rice Pudding

Made with heavy cream, short-grain rice, and milk, this rice pudding is light, easy to eat, and not overly sweet.

In short, it’s the perfect dessert to have any time of the day!

This pudding mixture is cooked on the stove and then transferred to oven-safe bowls for baking. 

You’ll know it’s done when the top is slightly burned, so it’ll look pretty close to creme brulee. 

The pudding’s caramel-y taste is already heavenly, but you can take it up a notch by sprinkling ground cinnamon on top! 

2. Baklava

The world-famous baklava will reach your dining table in less than two hours.

While making this dessert takes some time, it’s worth the wait with all its buttery and crunchy goodness.

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Well-prepared baklava is sweet and moist, oozing with sugary syrup infused with citrusy lemon.

This recipe requires some serious layering work using thin sheets of phyllo dough and finely chopped nuts. 

The perfect texture is achieved once you pour the chilled sugar syrup to the hot oven-baked baklava.

Sprinkle remaining ground pistachios on top for extra yummy crunch!  

3. Tulumba Tatlısı

Tulumba tatlısı is a crispy fried dessert commonly sold as street food in Turkey. 

These Turkish pastries resemble standard churros, but are tastier because they’re soaked in a lemon syrup.

To make this recipe, you’ll need a piping bag with a star nozzle. It’s possible not to get the shape right the first time, but practice makes better (if not perfect). 

4. Turkish Delight

Turkish delights are sweet little squares with a jelly-like texture. This dessert is bound to become a hit among kids and adults.

Traditionally, these gummy sweets carry the flavors of Bergamot orange, rosewater, and lemon. Fruits or nuts are also added to amp up the flavors.  

However, this recipe will instruct you to make rose-flavored delights only. But really, no one will stop you if you want to make a box of assorted Turkish delights! 

5. Turkish Almond Cookies

Cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, sugar, and lemon juice are chewy and oh-so-yummy!

The texture of cookies will blow you away, too. From the edge to the middle part, the texture transitions from crispy to perfectly soft.

The best part is they’re a cinch to make. Besides the use of common ingredients, the cooking time takes less than an hour.

6. Turkish Shortbread Cookies

Loving the taste of Turkish cookies? Here’s another easy recipe that you can try using the basic ingredients for shortbread biscuits — sugar, flour, and butter.

In 30 minutes, you’ll have crumbly sugar-topped cookies that melt right in your mouth. 

Serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee for a delightful afternoon snack. 

7. Turkish Chicken Breast Pudding

One of the most unique desserts I’ve ever had is chicken breast pudding. And no, it doesn’t taste like chicken at all!

Fine shreds of fresh chicken breast meat are the secret ingredient to a milky sweet pudding that’s rich in protein.

A sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top will instantly warm you up.

If you want a low-fat dessert, simply swap out whole milk for skim milk.

8. Turkish Delight Ice Cream

Sweet and fruity, this dessert is made using vanilla ice cream, chopped Turkish delights, wine, and nuts.

As if Turkish delights aren’t already delectable, they’re folded into the ice cream, made even better with chopped macadamia nuts.

This recipe is perfect if you want to add a fun twist to classic vanilla ice cream.

9. Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee uses unfiltered finely ground coffee beans, so expect this drink to be rich and stronger than other types of coffee.

Aside from the Turkish coffee beans, you’ll need granulated sugar and filtered water. All it takes is some stirring and boiling, and you’re done.

Turkish coffee is traditionally served with sweets on the side, so get your chocolates or Turkish delights ready for this drink.

10. Turkish Coffee Brownies

In the previous recipe, you already got a hint that coffee and chocolates are a great match. So, prepare to see them again together in these coffee brownies.

And if you both love coffee and brownies, there’s no other better dessert than this.

Infused with the flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, and nuts, these brownies are oh-so-chocolatey with piney and fruity notes. 

11. Turkish Bread Pudding

This bread pudding is delightfully sweet and syrupy, topped with kaymak, or Turkish clotted cream, and crushed walnuts.

To get the best results, you’ll need to use dehydrated Turkish bread.

If you can’t get your hands on this special ingredient, try using other types of bread with a firm texture that can hold lots of syrup. 

12. Helva

Helva is a group of paste-like sweets sold in nearly every market in Turkey and the Middle East. 

Tahini helva is the most popular variant of this dessert, made by mixing large amounts of sugar and sesame nut butter or tahini.

The addition of nuts, dried fruits, and cocoa powder brings nice flavors and texture to the dish. 

While helva can be super sweet, it’s also known for its health benefits.

Thanks to the generous amount of tahini, this dessert is energy-boosting and rich in vitamins, too!

13. Turkish Semolina Cake

For beginner bakers, you don’t have to get stuck with making banana bread or chocolate chip cookies.

If you’re looking for something new to try, this is it: revani or Turkish semolina cake.

This recipe creates a soft sponge cake soaked in delicious lemon-infused sugar syrup. Everything comes together in 35 minutes, looking fancy with a unique star pattern.

Feeling motivated? You can create different variations of this recipe. Other popular revani flavors include orange and rose.

14. Turkish Yogurt Cake

Healthy and delectable, this yogurt cake is a vegetarian dessert that can be enjoyed by anybody. 

Kids will adore the fluffy texture and sweetness of the cake, while adults will take delight in the addition of nutritious figs.

This cake also bursts with a fruity taste, thanks to the orange blossom water and lemon zest. It’s one of those Turkish desserts that you’ll want to have on a summer day.

15. Turkish Cotton Candy

This Turkish sweet is bound to become the kids’ favorite! While this recipe resembles cotton candy, it has a deeper taste and a different texture.

This confectionery is made with three basic ingredients: flour, butter, and sugar.

The flour is roasted in butter, while the sugar is melted and pulled until strands start to appear.

Combine these two, and you’ll get a light, fluffy floss that can be eaten plain or flavored with vanilla or chocolate.

16. Turkish Noah’s Ark Pudding Asure Recipe

Ashure, or Noah’s Ark pudding, is served in Turkey all year round, but it’s most popular during Muharram, the Islamic calendar’s first month.

Anecdotal history has it that this dessert originated from the pudding made by Noah himself. 

After the waters from the great flood had receded, Noah made a pudding using everything that was left on the ark, mainly dried fruits, nuts, and grains.

As such, the recipe for this dessert isn’t set in stone. The classic pudding uses rose water for flavoring. For a citrusy kick, you can use orange and lemon zest instead.

17. Fruit Leather

Making fruit leather is a great way to incorporate more fruits into family meals.

This delicious dessert is chock full of flavors with no sugar added. Plus, it’s super easy to make!

The only difficult thing here is choosing the fruit combinations you want to go into the dessert.

The rest of the cooking steps will require you to puree the fresh fruits and dehydrate them.

Cut the fruit leather into thin strips, roll them up, and you’re done!

18. Turkish Candied Pumpkin

This Turkish pumpkin dessert has the perfect balance of flavors. It has a decadent sweetness coming from sugar-coated pumpkin and a savory taste from tahini.

Adding whipped cream and walnuts on top takes the texture of this dessert to the next level.

If you’re looking for a unique dish for holiday entertaining, this Turkish dessert will please the crowd right off the bat.   

19. Turkish Ice Cream

Turkish ice cream is unlike any other ice creams I’ve tried before. Probably because it’s the only version I’ve had that comes with salep powder.

This wonderful ingredient comes from orchid bulbs, and it adds an elastic texture and unique flavor to the ice cream.

This chewy and sticky dessert can be made without an ice cream maker.

All it takes is some whisking, heating, and freezing. Active cooking time is only an hour or less.

20. Kunefe

So far, you’ve seen that the Turks are big on syrupy desserts. If you’re getting fond of them too, this is another must-try recipe.

Cheesy meets sugary in this Turkish dessert. Kunefe is often served at kebab restaurants, a sweet follow-up dish after eating some doner kebab.

Kunefe has a crisp outer layer and a gooey, cheesy inside. Rosewater, lemon juice, and nutmeg are added to the mix to intensify the flavors. 

21. Turkish Delight Sponge Cake

Have some leftover Turkish delights? You can make a new dessert out of these delectable sweets if you like. Introducing: sponge cake with Turkish delights!

The recipe calls for ingredients used to make a basic sponge cake — eggs, baking powder, flour, vanilla, and sugar.

One of the most crucial steps here is sprinkling chopped Turkish delights on the sponge cake mixture. Bake for 40 minutes, then top with powdered sugar.

What I like the most about this recipe is its flexibility. Change the flavor of Turkish delights, and you’ll change the taste of your cake, too!

22. Turkish Churros

Churros are a popular snack, not just in Turkey but also in other countries like Spain, France, and the Philippines. 

Turkish churros have the same dough and cooking method as tulumba, which is probably why they look pretty similar.

This recipe yields crunchy and golden churros tossed in cold sweet syrup.

They’re a famous street food in Turkey, but you can bring their authentic taste to your home in 30 minutes.

Like other variations of churros, you can amplify the flavor of the Turkish version by adding a sweet filling. Dipping them into melted chocolate is a fun idea, too!

23. Turkish Tea

Boil dried lemon peels with water and honey, and you’ll get a slightly sweet and citrusy Turkish tea.

It’s super easy and super tasty, and you can make it any time of the day.

After all, in Turkey, people consume cups of tea all day long. And because this recipe requires lemon peels, you’re bound to get a boost of vitamins and nutrients.

24. Sutlu Nuriye

If baklava is too heavy for you, try its lighter version, sutlu nuriye. This dish makes use of a milk-based syrup, so it’s also creamier. 

This dish is budget-friendly since you’ll be swapping out the expensive pistachios for chopped hazelnuts.

Of course, you’ll still need phyllo pastry sheets as the main ingredient.

Great for holiday entertaining, you can serve this soft and light dessert with a strong Turkish coffee or tea. It’s such a lovely combination!

25. Lokma

Another popular pair for Turkish coffee is lokma. It’s a fried round-shaped dough that’s sweetened using a simple syrup.

Lokma is a famous sight in special events like house parties and weddings. Some Turks take big cauldrons in the event they’re invited to and make batches of lokma there.

They’re best served when hot, and you can enhance the flavors by adding cinnamon, honey, or chocolate sauce to these bite-sized goodies.

25 Best Turkish Desserts

Directions

  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Turkish treat in 30 minutes or less!
Turkish Desserts

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